Bethel Logo

Our Blog

Pastor's Notes

Check out our new blog! Come back daily to see new posts and subscribe to our RSS feed.
View RSS Feed



  • Jun29Fri

    The Discipline of Celebration

    June 29, 2018 Pastor Eric Groot-Nibbelink


    Last week we highlighted the verse, “Rejoice in the Lord always:  I say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).  We heard it as a call for us to cultivate or nurture joy.  We can take up the practice of the discipline of celebration.  Just as Paul calls us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we can work out our joy in the Lord.  Paul worked that out even as he was assailed by many difficult circumstances in his life; remarkable!!

    Last week, I was not able to use what follows from my sermon notes but it has been pointed out that “..[c]elebration is at the heart of the way of Christ.”  It is so much an intricate part of the fabric of salvation.  (SeeRichard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline, his chapter: The Discipline of Celebration) 

    “[Jesus] entered the world on a high note of jubilation: ‘I bring you good news of a great joy,’ cried the angel, ‘which shall come to all the people’ (Luke 2.10). He left the world bequeathing his joy [leaving his joy like you would leave something in your will] to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full’ (John 15.11).

    “Celebration brings joy to life, and joy makes us strong. Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8.10). We cannot continue long in anything without it.” (Richard Foster)

    Joy makes us strong because of our vision, because of our seeing what comes because of what we can see on the other side.  It is Jesus Christ and our knowledge and trust in the ultimate goodness of  God and the assurance that the end of history as we know it is a new and glorious kingdom of peace and love in Jesus Christ.   -EGN